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your god hates me
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So I just bought a brand new Cannondale Synapse Carbon 2, and it comes with these ENORMOUS spoke reflectors that just look completely wrong on such a sleek road bike. They're like 8" long, with these big ugly white plastic brackets at either end that clamp down around the spokes. Totally hideous. I took them off as soon as I got the bike home.

My wife of course thinks I'm suicidal. To appease her (and because as a nighttime car driver I can appreciate the value of reflectors mounted on bike wheels) I tried to move the small, reasonably unobtrusive spoke reflectors from my 11 year old hybrid onto the new Cannondale.

No luck: they don't fit the flat spokes of my new Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheels.

So does anyone know of an aftermarket wheel-mounted reflector that is understated and discreet, and that will fit a flat (aero-blade type) spoke?

Thanks.
 

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Tireflys?

It is probably because you have a pretty low spoke count. No one really uses any reflectors anyways on the raod bike.



Bob Ross said:
So I just bought a brand new Cannondale Synapse Carbon 2, and it comes with these ENORMOUS spoke reflectors that just look completely wrong on such a sleek road bike. They're like 8" long, with these big ugly white plastic brackets at either end that clamp down around the spokes. Totally hideous. I took them off as soon as I got the bike home.

My wife of course thinks I'm suicidal. To appease her (and because as a nighttime car driver I can appreciate the value of reflectors mounted on bike wheels) I tried to move the small, reasonably unobtrusive spoke reflectors from my 11 year old hybrid onto the new Cannondale.

No luck: they don't fit the flat spokes of my new Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheels.

So does anyone know of an aftermarket wheel-mounted reflector that is understated and discreet, and that will fit a flat (aero-blade type) spoke?

Thanks.
 

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Adorable Furry Hombre
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mohair_chair said:
If you aren't going to be riding in the dark, you don't need reflectors. If you are going to be riding in the dark, get yourself a good set of lights and some reflective clothing.
indeed, reflectors don't really help that much for visibility anyways (very little of the light coming at you gets reflectedback). If the OP reallywantshis wheelsto advertisehis presence, I'd suggest those LED spoke lights(can't remember the name OTTOMH).
 

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Squirrel Hunter
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Purpose?

Bob Ross said:
...as a nighttime car driver I can appreciate the value of reflectors mounted on bike wheels...
Well of course those wheel reflectors look really pretty spinning around but do they in fact provide any protection? Think about it this way - reflectors work when the car lights shine directly on them. So for the wheel reflectors to be illuminated you need to be travelling perpendicular to the auto with its lights on. Either you are far enough away that even though the auto headlights illuminate the reflectors you will have cleared the intersection long before the auto intersects your path of travel or you are so close that when the auto headlights illuminate the reflectors the driver would not have time to stop anyways.

If you are worried about safety then think about some hight quality front and rear lights and reflectors as well as if you need to be riding at night. The wheel reflectors are just a feel good safety feature that provides no practical safety benefits.

Ditch the wheel reflectors.
 

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Ditto what "keeping" said

Reflectors that face the side are pretty useless. Reflectors that face front or rear can do some good. If you're not going to ride in the dark, forget the whole thing. If you're going to ride in the dark a lot, you need lights as well.

If you want wheel reflectors that can be seen from the right directions and are discreet, you can try what I do on my commuter bike. Small pieces of reflective tape on the inner surface of the rims (not the braking surface, obviously), every other (or every 3 or 4) inter-spoke section. They make a pretty good show when a car approaches from the rear with headlights on. The rotating strobe effect says "bicycle wheels" very emphatically.

Here's a good source for all sorts of reflective tape:
http://www.identi-tape.com/
The silver Relexite stuff is really shiny:
http://www.identi-tape.com/hi-intensity.htm
 

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Colorado Springs, CO
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Mavic Ksryiums? Try shining your flashlight in a dark room on the rim surface. On my Mavic's the writing on the side of the rim is reflective . With the wheel spinning, the shading of the Mavice name sould provide enought breakup in the light to show a spinning object. You don't need the reflectors in this case I think.
 

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The more light the better

Try these from Rivedell

http://www.rivbike.com/webalog/miscellaneous/31370.html

There is truth in the thought that you're almost always past an intersect well before a car gets there, but we all make mistakes sometimes. I commute in the dark alot and I like my spoke reflectors. They let a car know I'm around if they turn onto the street shortly after I go through an intersection. If I miss seeing a car when I enter an intersection it will give the driver a better chance of seeing me. Whenever I see them on a bike when I'm driving they are usually the only part of the cyclist I see. If you ride at night, use spoike reflectors... The more drivers who know you're out there the better your odds of not getting hit. The more light you generate or bounce back toward cars, the better.

I've used Tireflys... They are too small to be of any safety use. You can see spoke reflectors from 100 feet away... I doubt you could see Tireflies from 20 feet... Plus, they weigh more than the Rivedell spoke reflectors. Forget the Tireflys.
 

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Steaming piles of opinion
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Reflective tape

ColoradoVeloDude said:
Mavic Ksryiums? Try shining your flashlight in a dark room on the rim surface. On my Mavic's the writing on the side of the rim is reflective . With the wheel spinning, the shading of the Mavice name sould provide enought breakup in the light to show a spinning object. You don't need the reflectors in this case I think.
Even if not, short sections of reflective tape (available at the hardware store) on the rim between the spokes does a fabulous job, and provides a very bright, unique reflected signature from both the sides and front/back (you're almost never dead on-line, unless the guy is gunning for you - and there, you'd rather not have the reflectors.) Add a few thin strips to the edges of the cranks, and you're set up as a rolling disco.
 

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Cowboy up
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Spoke reflectors help provide visibility when you are crossing streets at night. You are moving perpendicular to traffic and the movement of the reflectors will add to the visibility. There are some tires with reflective sidewalls. Reflective clothing and a reflective triangle can be helpful but in a warm weather commute you might not have them on. Reflective tape can be added to the bike as well.
 

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I've got Conti GP4000 with reflective sidewalls. Great tires and not too much on the commuterish end of things. That said, reflectors only provide minimal, at most, security. Get some LEDs and a good light.
 

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Who needs a map?
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danl1 said:
Even if not, short sections of reflective tape (available at the hardware store) on the rim between the spokes does a fabulous job, and provides a very bright, unique reflected signature from both the sides and front/back (you're almost never dead on-line, unless the guy is gunning for you - and there, you'd rather not have the reflectors.) Add a few thin strips to the edges of the cranks, and you're set up as a rolling disco.
I'll second the reflective tape. You can get different colors too - I have white strips on my rims, and red strips on the back of my helmet and seat post. Get lights too, so that you have active and passive things to get attention.
 

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uhhhh....anyone who says wheel reflectors don't make a difference....don't know what they're talking about. From personal experience seeing drivers react to the reflected light by suddenly slowing down and preventing a rider from getting run over I know they work. As a driver I've "almost' hit bicycle riders before and the only thing that stopped me from hitting them was the reflection off of their wheel reflecters. Any city driver should be able to chime in with a story or two. Especially since a lot of "cyclists" in downtown areas aren't "cyclists" but drunks, bums, etc who never stop for stop signs/lights or obey any traffiic law period. Reflectors are life savors
 

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Who here said they don't make a difference? Most have said that they don't work in a lot of situations and that a light source provides better protection. I actually think that reflectors may give some people a false sense of security causing them to leave the extra light at home - in this case the relectors would be a detriment.

Most people have anecdotal incidents where reflectors have worked but this is not proof that they are a good thing in and of themselves - lights would have probably worked better. I think that people would be better served if bikes didn't come with reflectors and were required to run side lights after dark instead.

Read this article and then dispute the scientific discussion with something other than anecdotal infomation.
 

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Cowboy up
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One interesting point in the Sheldon Brown article is about seeing with the brain and not the eyes. I think the reflective triangle does a good job of signaling to drivers something like “warning: human being ahead, please avoid” during day and night use.

Lights also have their drawbacks. Batteries fade or die. They are forgotten, stolen, or fall off. They may not be as bright in light conditions or when lights are shining right on them. Many are small and may not provide enough warning to drivers.

Note the difference in visibility between the triangle and the light in the photo halfway down this page. http://bicyclesafe.com/ The conditions of the photo may improve the visibility of the reflector compared to the light but it is just one example of how they may appear in headlights.

Fortunately they are not mutually exclusive. We can use both reflectors and lights for the benefits each bring.
 

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What the Hell is going on
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Another vote for reflective tape

I put reflective tape on my commuter bike. When I was at an intersection once a driver rolled down his window and said he could see me from a couple of blocks away.

They're unobtrusive and weight next to nothing (if your counting your grams).
 
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